Davis Cup kicks off some exciting rubbers in the Quarterfinal Rounds for the World Group today.
Led by Jim Courier, Team USA begins play today on home soil this round on an indoor court in Boise, Idaho and will take on Serbia. Having met just one time before, Team USA comes up against the only World Team to have the highest ranked player on the ATP on their active roster, number one in the world, Novak Djokovic. Djokovic teams up with Viktor Troicki, Ilija Bozoljac, and Nenad Zimonjic to take on our team of Sam Querrey, John Isner, and The Bryan Brothers. Despite having powerhouse Nole on their team (who has proven to be human over the past couple months and has taken a loss or two), I am hoping to see the US take full advantage of the crisp, clean (and high altitude) Boise air and use the home court advantage to pull off the upset over Serbia.
Canada celebrates their first time into the quarterfinals of Davis Cup having beaten Spain in the previous round. They will be hosting Italy this weekend indoors in Vancouver. Milos Raonic leads Team Canada into the first meeting against Italy with a solid team behind him composed of Vasek Pospisl, Frank Danvevic, and doubles great Daniel Nestor taking on Andreas Seppi, Fabio Fognini, Paolo Lorenzi and Simone Bolelli. I think this will be a great matchup, but I am hoping for a Canadian victory and have really been enjoying Raonic lately, his game is starting to mature and it will be good to see how he leads the team on their home court.
Argentina will host France in Argentina on the red clay. Missing their top player, Juan Martin Del Potro, Team Argentina is composed of clay court specialists Juan Monaco, Horacio Zeballos, Carlos Berlocq, and David Nalbandian to take on what could be the most solid throughout team from France, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Richard Gasquet, Julien Benneteau, and Michael Llodra. This will be the sixth meeting between the two countries with France having won the previous five meetings and with a team as solid as they have going to Argentina, they will be tough to beat this time around. France is making sure to not assume they are going to take this matchup easily and no doubt it should be competitive.
And the least dramatic quarter in this round features Kazakhstan, who will have the home court advantage, while hosting the Czech Republic on indoor, red clay. Noticably absent from the Czech Republic’s lineup is Tomas Berdych, but representing is Radek Stepanek, Lukas Rosol, Jan Hajek, and Ivo Minar who will face off against Kazakhstan, who is the only team left in the World Group with not a single player in the top 150 on the ATP. Their team lineup is composed of Mikhail Kukushkin, Evgeny Korolev, Andrey Golubex, and Yuriy Schukin. The one and only time these two countries have met was in 2011 where Kazakhstan forced the upset. I wouldn’t count Kazakhstan out of this matchup, but only time will tell. Currently, the Czech Republic has taken a 2-0 lead over Kazakhstan.
Enjoy the tennis and Go Team USA!
Play with heart,